Modern Office Evolution: Office Furniture Through the Years

Today

Modern office evolution shows us drastically how different our office today look from our office not even two decades ago. Office designers of this decade like to focus on boosting employee engagement by prioritizing their well-being. The office of today isn’t just one building where everyone works in isolating cubicles; they are made up of huddle rooms, break rooms and touchdown spaces specifically tailored to the employees need, whether it be collaboration and socializing or a quiet space to focus. In addition to the evolution of traditional environments, new trends are being brought into the workplace to increase employee satisfaction, such as the resimercial, biophilic, and Scandinavian office trends. Furthermore, in the face of the pandemic, no longer do we adhere to the traditional office setups. Modern home office design has even garnered a lot of attention lately as many continue to work from home or adopt hybrid schedules.  We’ve introduced flexibility to the workforce due to our current circumstances and advanced technology and learned that some corporations are thriving in remote and hybrid work.

Modern Office Evolution: Office Furniture Through the Years
Photo: The Modern Office 

From the way we design our spaces to the way we work, there has been a huge overhaul for the better when looking at the evolution of office design. But how did we get here? Let’s explore the story and dig a little deeper into the modern office evolution.

A Brief History Of The Modern Office

The 1800s

The concept of the office has existed since Roman times, but the first modern office—with the term “modern” used loosely—appeared in the 1800s in Britain. Why Britain? At this time Britain’s East India Trading Company had just begun to expand their trade and influence in other countries and thus needed their own headquarters. Sir Charles Trevelyan, a secretary that worked at the company at the time, described the offices as “separate rooms [that] are necessary so that a person who works with his head may not be interrupted…” while those with lower jobs in mechanical work “[work] in concert of a number of clerks in the same room under proper superintendence…”


Photo: Traditional Office Building

Sound familiar?

The 1900s

What are the factors in the evolution of workplace design?  Fast forward to the 1900s and suddenly there is a plethora of office designs being made. With an increasing workforce, Frank Lloyd Wright presents the first open-plan office building for SC Johnson Wax. The first open-plan office layout featured wide amounts of open space populated by desks laid out in a grid-like fashion and no walls. Wright created this working environment where there are no divided, smaller offices because he wanted to inspire communication between employees. He wanted to create a more familial office culture that increased collaboration and creativity.

Modern Office Evolution: Office Furniture Through the Years
Photo: The Open-Plan Office

When something new trends, it’s usually because it is a reaction to the current fashion. The same holds true for Taylorism. Named after Frank Taylor, Taylorism applied science to office design. Taylorism didn’t concern itself with collaboration and communication between employees the same way Wright did. While there were similarities in their designs with workers sitting side-by-side in rows of long desks, productivity ultimately ruled over everything. Workers were grouped in the middle of the office while managers ringed the interior to keep an eye on them. Humans have held a long obsession with productivity and we see it most prominently in work culture. Taylorism epitomized it, but in doing so left out crucial human and social elements that resulted in unhappy employees and dehumanizing working environments.


Photo: Rows of Chairs Signifying The Taylorism Office

In the mid to late twentieth century, the currents of change shifted again. Shortly after Taylorism had taken root, a German design approach named Burolandschaft gained traction as a popular design for workplaces because it aimed to democratize the workplace and encourage interaction among colleagues. In response to the open plan office, Robert Propst created what he dubbed the “Action Office” because, in his words, “Today’s office is a wasteland. It saps vitality, blocks talent, frustrates accomplishment. It is the daily scene of unfulfilled intentions and failed effort.”

And thus entered the era of cubicles.

The cubicles the Action Offices featured were meant to offer an alternate work environment that gave a degree of privacy while not restricting movement. Propst designed them to have a huge desk space that allowed for making phone calls, a vertical filing system, and partitions for privacy. What’s more, the desks were meant to be height adjustable—allowing people to stand while they work to help with blood flow. It was a progressive plan that could have advanced the office to new heights.


Photo: The Ideal Cubicle

So how did it become the cubicles we loathed?

Simply put, it flopped. The Action Office that Propst had in mind was too expensive and too high concept to fit the market. Instead, Herman Miller, the company Propst worked under, released a scaled down version with an enclosed modular desk system and none of features that favored employee satisfaction. Businesses found it easier and cheaper to cram people into small spaces that were called “cubicle farms” for their dehumanizing features.

Modern Office Evolution: Office Furniture Through the Years
Photo: Standard Cubicles

Back to the Present

Cubicles are still a part of the office—but they’ve been overhauled and modernized to fit current needs. With companies now prioritizing worker morale, there’s a plethora of new spaces being designed and expanded. The office doesn’t have to be the only workplace anymore, but if you ever want to return to traditional elements, reworked cubicles offer a variety of options that take into consideration privacy and community without compromising one or the other.

We’ve come a long way with office design. Throughout the decades, architects and designers have tried to tackle productivity through various methods and it reflects in the trends of its time. But with the current focus on employee happiness in the modern office evolution, we can look forward to fewer cloistered designs and more flexible office plans.

Evolving with Modern Office Evolution

Explore the latest office furniture ideas for planning your modern office at 2010 Office Furniture. Our team has nearly 50 years of combined experience working with Southern California’s most distinguished corporations, universities, and small business from Los Angeles and Orange Counties to the Inland Empire.

Contact us and let us know about your potential project needs.  We can help you create the modern office that fits perfectly for you and your employees.

Read Also: Office Furniture Trends 2022

Office Furniture Trends 2022: What’s New in Commercial Office Furniture

Stylex Seating

Over the last decade we’ve seen tremendous changes in our offices and how we work — especially within the last couple of years. Office furniture trends of 2022 are no doubt a reflection of these important changes.  As we recover from a world pandemic, our schedules are less structured, our interactions more organic and our technology more advanced. Innovations in office furniture have allowed us to complete our tasks much faster and be more mobile at work.

From the way we complete our daily tasks to how we meet and share ideas – our offices are changing in remarkable and exciting ways.  As we review 2022’s office furniture trends, let’s ask ourselves, “How did we get to here today? And what do we have to look forward to?”

Workstations

Workstations Then
Photo: The Open Office Plan Setup

THEN: Open-plan benching systems have been the go-to workstations ever since their revival in the early 2010s. Designer Frederick Taylor pioneered the idea of the open office back in the early 1900s, claiming it was the secret to productivity. And over the last decade or so, they’ve regained much popularity especially among health-conscious millennials who found cubicles to be somewhat oppressive and confining.  Open-plan benching systems, on the other hand, promoted open communication and collaboration, and kept productivity in mind while fostering team camaraderie and employee wellbeing.  They also helped ease high costs of construction, utilities and office equipment, because they’re typically modular and can be set up and reconfigured much more easily in huge open spaces without having to partition areas by building walls.  The open-plan set-up is not without its drawbacks, however.  They can be noisy and have been criticized for imposing too much distraction to workers, making it difficult for focused individual work.

NOW: To remedy the shortcomings of open-plan benching systems, semi-private workstations are now taking center stage as the optimized solution for the open office.  Providing just enough barriers and partitions, they are not as severely closed-off as traditional cubicles.  They work better to offer needed quiet and privacy while still open enough to facilitate collaboration, interaction and exchange of ideas.  Moreover, to avoid costs of having to implement entirely new workstations, many offices are now retrofitting their existing open-plan benching systems to be more semi-private, by attaching raised panels or adding storage bins and cabinets, as well as glass or plexiglass dividers.  With improved separation between workers, this promoted better social distancing and sanitation practices in the workplace, especially during the post-COVID era.

Office Furniture Trends 2022: Workstation NowOffice Furniture Trends 2022 Photos: Groupe Lacasse Paradigm Workstations & Senator Workpod

Private Offices

Private Offices ThenPhoto: Traditional Private Office

THEN: Private offices have thrived since the Taylorist 1900s era, and continue to be popular even today. Executives and managers especially benefit from private offices, which provide the needed privacy for focused work over extended hours and allowed them to meet with clients privately.  Often furnished with a complete office furniture suite, the private office generally consists of a large personal desk, a return for additional work surface real-estate, chairs for guests, and credenza and hutch with shelves and cabinets for storage.  This private room setup offers maximum privacy for confidential meetings and concentrated work, and most of the time includes windows overlooking employees to supervise them as they work. It’s the ideal setup for 9-to-5/five days a week schedules for many professionals.

NOW: While private offices are here to stay, office furniture trends in 2022 are seeing a rise of touch-down spaces. Touch-down spaces are smaller, more casual private or semi-private spaces for on-the-go professionals and executives to work. Today’s much more dynamic lifestyles and technology have allowed and granted more flexibility in our work culture.  We can now complete most of our tasks anywhere on a laptop and be able to meet with clients in more comfortable informal settings.  These less structured setups best accommodate the hybrid work-from-home/work-at-the-office schedules that have emerged from the COVID era.  Professionals are able to come to work, interact with colleagues and coworkers, have a designated space for focused work, but are still mobile to be able to pick up their work and relocate.

Office Furniture Trends 2022: Private Offices NowOffice Furniture Trends 2022 Photos: Trendway Volo Walls create individual workspaces; Global Priva Acoustic Pods & Hat Collective M-Series Wall Mount Worksurfaces

Meeting Spaces

Meeting Spaces ThenPhoto: Traditional Conference Room

THEN: Meetings are as old as time, and they have always had one thing in common: one location. Starting from the 1900s, office furniture has stayed generally the same in terms of the meeting room. These spaces, most commonly referred to as conference rooms, are typically private and spacious areas with a large and stately table in the center to seat a group of people for power meetings, presentations and exchange of ideas. Traditional conference rooms are designed to impress and slightly intimidate; they’re the place where executives would meet, negotiate important decisions and strike million-dollar deals.

NOW: The past several years have seen a sort of democratization of the workplace. The open office has especially paved the way toward a more inclusive work culture where employees have free rein to roam about, and have access to all areas of the workplace.  There’s less need for huge, traditional meeting rooms that feel too formal. More professionals are gravitating to smaller meeting areas, sometimes referred to as huddle rooms, which are designed to be leaner, meaner, more efficient to use and accessible to everyone. The past couple of years of COVID especially have pushed for improved telecommunications and popular video-teleconference platforms such as Skype and Zoom. Meetings no longer need to take place in one location. Fully equipped with power and state-of-the-art A/V equipment, these new and improved spaces now allow for a quick gathering, brainstorming or impromptu collaboration without even having to be physically together. A more appropriate solution for the times, they help promote social distancing safety by keeping fewer groups of people together and allowing them the flexibility to meet virtually.

Office Furniture Trends 2022: Meeting Spaces NowOffice Furniture Trends 2022 Photos: OFS Heya Meeting Lounge, Scale 1:1 Telemeet Media Table & OFS Obeya Architectural Structures 

Training and Collaboration

Training Then
Photo: Traditional Training Room Setup

THEN: Training and collaboration spaces are crucial to every company. These spaces are generally made up of numerous rows of chairs and tables lined up auditorium-style, inside a room specifically designed for training employees, group orientation or team-building exercises. Typically designed to be very capacious, they’re able to seat a great number of people all at one time, and typically orient a group audience toward a speaker, not unlike a classroom or lecture hall.  Oftentimes these setups can feel severely rigid, formal and overly spacious, especially when only a handful of people need to use them.

NOW: Today, training and collaborative spaces are very much designed with the interaction of people in mind.  The philosophy behind the design focuses on harboring a sense of community while facilitating a more intuitive and organic flow of interaction and communication among people.  Now, we see breakrooms, lounges and other common areas that double as training spaces, in a less formal way. Comfortable modular furniture works best for this purpose, as they can nest together to accommodate group sessions, then be rearranged after to serve another purpose such as for lounge or individual work. Sometimes, it’s a mixture of sofas or individual seating with built in laptop and tablet tables.  Sometimes, stools, benches and ottomans are used with occasional, nesting or bar-height parsons tables, along with mobile white boards and TV displays.  Whatever the type of furniture, they’re meant to be dynamic, and are often on casters for ease of mobility and reconfiguration. These modern training and collaborative spaces are all about adaptability and flexibility, working to accommodate people’s natural way of interaction. The lines of formality are blurred, and optimized communication and comfort are prioritized.


Office Furniture Trends 2022 Photos: Senator Play Collection, Hat Collection M-Series Nesting Tables & OFS Coact Mobile Chairs and Heya Screen

Continued Evolution

With continued innovation in office furniture, there really isn’t one way to design an office anymore. Office layouts are fluid, and every generation focuses on different aspects of our professional lives and cultures to create what they believe is the perfect workplace for the times. Whereas the 1900s may have prioritized employees’ productivity and efficiency, many today weigh a significant value in employees’ happiness and wellbeing – because of the belief that worker satisfaction ultimately drives better productivity and efficiency. One thing will always remain however, and that is the constant improvement of the office to meet the ever-changing demands of businesses and the individuals who work for them. With a watchful eye on office furniture trends in 2022 and years beyond, we can look forward to new designs and solutions that will always reflect the culture of our times.

Following Office Furniture Trends of 2022

If you need help planning or designing your office space, please contact us and share your needs.  Our team at 2010 Office Furniture has about 50 years of combined experience working with Southern California’s most distinguished corporations, universities, and small business from Los Angeles and Orange Counties to the Inland Empire.

Read Also: Designing a Healthy Office
Main Photo: Stylex Seating
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Global, Groupe LacasseHat CollectionOFSScale 1:1, Senator & Trendway

Your Guide to Equipping Your Home Office

Guide to Equipping Your Home Office SitOnIt Chair

Your home office space can be as simple or sophisticated as you need to do your work. For those working remotely, or working on hybrid arrangements, here is your strategic guide to equipping your home office.

Make sure it’s well-equipped and well-connected. The space should be pleasing and comfortable to work in, just like a corporate office setting.

Let’s look at what makes a home office inviting for home-based businesses and remote workers.

List Your Needs

As we start your guide to equipping your home office, one of the first important things is to list your needs to be addressed.

Your physical needs may be minimal like room for a computer, a filing cabinet, printer, and nearby outlets to charge computers and phones.

How often will you be on the phone or online with clients and potential customers?

Reliable Internet connections and a smartphone are vital. A headset is useful so you avoid cradling the phone between your neck and shoulder. This way, your hands are free and you don’t risk cramping your muscles.

Get sound panels if there’s the potential for noise from kids or pets. 2010 Office Furniture has great options that are perfect for a corporate office or home office setting. They have attractive designs in a variety of colors.

Panels to reduce noise or delineate space are especially important if you’re going to have co-workers or clients stopping to visit.

Don’t forget the surroundings, even if you facetime clients or your colleagues. What will they see in your background?

Your greatest need in a home office is likely one that we all understand: a place to concentrate.

Elements of an Effective Home Office

Make the space distinct from the rest of the house to prevent or reduce distractions. Don’t let TV, snacks in the refrigerator, and barking dogs drag you down.

Aim to locate your office in an area with lots of space so you don’t feel cramped.

You might have your office in a room that’s completely separate from the rest of your living area, but if you’re in a corner of a living room or family room then use indoor plants to create separation. Privacy screens that rest on the floor can serve the same purpose and so can an item like a moveable white board.


Photo: Snowsound Baffle Sound Panel

In Los Angeles and Orange County, you also have the option of working on a patio in comfortable temperatures for about 9 to 10 months out of the year. That could be your second space, if needed.

Keep it Minimal

Don’t let the space get so cluttered that your work area becomes storage. Get the filing cabinet you need and consider using a cubicle as a solution. We know that the term “cubicle” has a negative connotation, but there are now attractive modular solutions that can be used in a home office.


Photo: HON Abound Workstation Storage

Many have small cabinets with drawers like the HON Abound Height Adjustable Workstation. Numerous configurations are available and frosted glass is an option for privacy.

Get the Light Right

Find a place where you can get the most natural light flowing into the room. Make use of ambient lighting too, so you don’t have to squint to see the computer screen.

The right type of lighting is part of ergonomics, making the surroundings comfortable to support the worker. Proper lighting reduce eye fatigue and the possibilities of headaches.

Lamps don’t need much space on a desktop. The Workrite Fundamentals 2 Desktop Light has a minimal base and narrow arm, but doesn’t compromise size for ability with it’s LED-powered high beams.


Photo: Workrite Fundamentals 2 Task Light

Sit Comfortably

One of the most important points to cover in your guide to equipping your home office is that your health should always come first.  And in most cases, its all about the right ergonomics.

A supportive chair is a necessity, not a luxury. Think of how many hours you’re on a chair throughout a typical workday. There are occasional evenings and weekends, too.

Ergonomic chairs have back and lumbar support to keep the strain off your spine and lower back muscles. Do your part by sitting with good posture.


Photo: Humanscale Liberty Task Chair

Check the Humanscale Liberty Task Chair as an example of a quality office chair. It comes with a recline system that automatically adjusts to the user’s weight and body movements.

Adjust Those Desks

Sitting for long periods of time strains the lower back. When you’re sitting, you’re placing double your body weight on your spine.

Use a height adjustable desk, or another idea is to have a surface that’s higher than the typical desktop surface. Have a higher chair with a comfortable back rest so you have the option to sit or stand when you want.


Photo: Deskmakers Haverford Touchdown Table

Remember to Take Breaks

The demands of home can mean that you’re forced to take breaks to grab the mail, feed the pets, and help the kids or pick them up after school. If you’re sitting for up to two hours at a time, remember to take a 15-minute stretch break.

It’s not a waste of time or an interruption. It’ll help keep your blood circulating and reduce the chance of a foggy brain later in the day.

Make Your Home Office a Positive Place

Work, by its nature, has an inherent stress level to it. Design and furnish your home office so it’s comfortable and a positive space. This way, you can do your best whether you’re self-employed or a remote worker.

Employees can function in home offices just like they do in corporate offices, which the Harvard Business Review refers to as “a culture space, providing workers with a social anchor” that enables professional collaboration.

As your guide to equipping your home office, one point can’t be stressed enough: Your home office shouldn’t be treated as an afterthought, but a center of strategic importance.

We Can Be Your Guide to Equipping Your Home Office

Create extraordinary spaces.

Get expert input on planning your office space, whether it’s a corporate office, hybrid office arrangement, or dedicated home office. The team at 2010 Office Furniture has a half-century of combined experience in space design and furnishing Southern California’s leading companies and distinguished nonprofit organizations.

Contact us to share your needs.  We’ll be happy to be your guide to equipping your home office.

Read Also: Essentials for the Corporate and Home Office Spaces
Main Photo: SitOnIt Seating Wit Chair
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Deskmakers, HON, Humanscale, SitOnIt Seating, Snowsound & Workrite

Design Your Office Space as a Welcome Gathering Place

Welcome Gathering Place SitOnIt Reya Desk

Why the need for an office welcome gathering place?

Just a few years ago, the office was everything. Remote work or occasional telecommuting was talked about, but in reality that practice was the exception. In 2018, only a third of the workforce could do their jobs at home, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What’s it like now?

A 2021 survey from FlexJobs conducted in July and August shows that up to 97 percent of workers want some form of remote work. The 10th annual survey shows that:

  • 58 percent of respondents want to work remotely full-time
  • 39 percent want a hybrid work environment

What’s going to happen, and how does this impact how you should plan and design your office space?

A Work Trend Index from Microsoft published in March 2021 found that 66 percent of employers worldwide are redesigning their offices to accommodate hybrid work arrangements.

We don’t know how long the hybrid work model will continue. If companies, and especially the major corporations, find that they’re more profitable with employees in the office, then there will be a push to have workers return either full-time or mostly full-time.

But we know that employees can easily be connected from their home offices. People are also saving money on commuting costs, especially with the current price of gas in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area ranging from $4.05 to nearly $5.00 a gallon.


Photo: HON Solve Chair

The reality is that our professional and personal worlds have merged like never before, and leading architects say that we shouldn’t make hard boundaries between the home and office.

Perhaps it’s time to blur the lines; a convergence.  Merging spaces to accommodate this shift in our work culture and create a welcome gathering place.

Blurring Categories to Create a Welcome Gathering Place

At the NeoCon gathering in October 2021, the most important event for the commercial design industry, the award-winning architect and interior designer Lauren Rottet told attendees that, “The world separates us, wants to categorize us.”

She disagrees with the philosophy and is blending spaces through her designs.

Offices are becoming fun, says Rottet. When she’s pitching a major office design, she says she doesn’t hesitate to refer to previous work she’s done in hotels for inspiration to her clients.


Photo: HON Westhill Lounge

The trend is bringing communities together in a instead of separating them.

A keynote speaker at the conference, Jeanne Gang, and her firm designed the Vista Tower in Chicago which is a blend of hotel rooms, residential condominiums, a 5-star hotel, restaurants, and amenity spaces. It  creates “a vibrant social center.”

This welcome gathering place concept is similar to the Paseo in Pasadena and the Americana in Glendale where retail shopping and living spaces go hand-in-hand.

The Re-Imagined Office

Imagine your office as a social center and not just as a place to work. Given today’s array of modular furniture and a range of office design options, it’s easy to do.

What do employees want?

They want to know that they’re valued.

According to Gallup, engaged employees are “those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace.”

Engaged employees outperform their peers that are not engaged. Overall, companies with high employee engagement are 21% more profitable.

How does office planning and design accomplish this?

Having remote work options is one way, according to Chief Information Officer magazine. That means giving your team freedom to work in the office from the most comfortable locations.

Use welcome gathering place designs that bring out the best in people and provide balance as we merge our professional and personal lives.

The Resimercial office design remains popular for that reason. Elements of home, or a residence, are brought into the commercial setting. Create spaces for people to meet and eat like using informal conference tables that double as a lunch or snack site. The spaces are warm, inviting, and informal so the sharing of ideas and interaction can take place easily and in a way that’s relational and not rigid.


Photo: OFS Obeya Wall and Nineteen20 Table


Photo: Safco Resi Collaboration Workstation 

Use colors that stimulate creativity and are calming, and select attractive furniture that’s durable and made with antimicrobial fabrics.


Photo: Stylex Still Screens

Get Expert Input on a Welcome Gathering Place

Get more ideas for planning your office as community using the expertise of 2010 Office Furniture. Our team at 2010 Office Furniture has about 50 years of combined experience working with Southern California’s most distinguished corporations, universities, and small business from Los Angeles and Orange Counties to the Inland Empire.

Contact us and let us know about your potential project needs.  We can help you create the welcome gathering place for your office.

Read Also: Work From Home Office Furniture
Main Photo: SitOnIt Seating Reya Desk
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: HON, OFS, SitOnIt Seating, SafcoStylex Seating

6 Reasons to Let Your Employees Work from Home

6 Reasons to Let Your Employees Work from Home SitOnIt Reya Desk

Working in the Covid era has shown how knowledge-based businesses and professional firms can be productive even when employees work from home offices.

Corporate offices are still needed as hubs that lay out the mission and set direction, but some employees can function more effectively at a home office setting.

Why?

They have the equipment, a dedicated space, and can function free from inter-office distractions like breakroom conversations, clashing office personalities, and employees who are ill.

But let’s be clear: the center corporate office is still very much needed.


Photo: Maverick Apex Workstation

Read on to learn the 6 great reasons to let your employees work from home, as opposed to the office.  Also, it’s important to understand the differences between the two office set-ups and how both environments can work together for everyone’s benefit.

Reason 1: Home Offices Provide Functionality

A variety of employees have as much functionality at a home office as they do at a central location.

Data entry, marketing specialists, and sales teams can enter information, create content, and contact customers. The financial team can access accounts via the Internet, and executives can hold online meetings.

What’s needed to make a home office work well? Start with the basics.

A Dedicated Space

When employees work from home, having an area where the focus is on work is crucial. It can be a separate room, or a designated space within an existing space, such as a living room. Use dividers to reduce distractions just like you would in an open floor plan.

The home office shouldn’t be cramped.

In greater Los Angeles and Orange County, the moderate temperatures and sunshine during the year can let back yard decks and patios also be part of the home office setting.

Internet Connection is Key When Employees Work From Home

Being connected with smartphones and a reliable Internet connection is the reason that 18 percent of the U.S. workforce works full-time from a home office or other remote location, according to OWL Labs.

Citigroup and Google are among the top corporations who have employees work from home, and have establishing hybrid arrangements, as reported by SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management.

Citigroup says most of its 210,000 employees now work remotely two to three days a week.

Desks

Say goodbye to the bulky desks of the past and embrace today’s sleek designs. Simple table-top models, height-adjustable desks, and modular workstations can all be used in the home.


Photo: Deskmakers Ascend Height Adjustable Desk

The Desk Makers Ascend Height Adjustable Desk is an example of a contemporary design that lets users move from sitting to standing position in seconds.

Lighting

The right lighting is essential to working well in any setting, even in a home space. An office that’s lit properly reduces eye strain, the stress of glare, and promotes restful nights. Natural lighting is optimal while LED lighting is preferred over fluorescent lighting which has been shown to make office workers tired.


Photo: Humanscale Nova Light

When employees work from home, affordable office lighting solutions come in a variety of shapes to focus the best light on the task at hand.

Ergonomic Chair

Sitting stresses the spine and lower back so make sure home offices are equipped with an ergonomic chair that supports the body’s shape and natural motions. A quality chair will last for many years. It’s an investment that promotes well-being by reducing strain on the back and joints.


Photo: SitOnIt Seating Wit Chair

Laptop and Monitor

Laptops have plenty of power for nearly every need. Specialists like graphic artists may benefit from a desktop set-up and large monitors. But laptops can hook up to larger monitors, as well.

Companies can develop policies when employees work from home, using personal computers versus ones purchased directly by the corporation.

File Storage

The paperless office still has paper, but minimal file storage is needed. Designs like the OSF Beck Credenza tend to have more traditional appearances. A modular storage system like the Desk Makers Catalina Cubbies can also serve as a room divider in home offices or at the main office


Photo: Deskmakers Catalina Cubbies

Combination Printer, Copier & Scanner

Like it or not, printers, copiers and scanners are still needed even with the advancement of new technology and widespread use of electronic communications. Top-rated printers with combo functions include HP Office Jet Pro 9015e, HP Office Jet Pro 6978, Canon PIXMA TR8520 and Brother MFCL-2710DW.

Reason 2: Workers Have Health Concerns

Covid isn’t the only virus that spreads germs. Other illnesses like the common cold and flu can be transmitted at the work office.  Office wellness can mean that employees work from home when they’re not feeling well.

Being active is important and taking stretch breaks or quick walks every two hours may happen more easily at home than in the corporate setting.

Reason 3: Workers are Connected Remotely

Work vocabulary now includes Zoom as often as Google. Nouns have taken on another life as verbs. Connections via email, social media messaging, and inexpensive or free face-to-face platforms make communication easy.

What may be challenging or tough is disconnecting after hours, weekends, or while on vacation.

Reason 4: When Employees Work From Home, They Save Money

The cost of gas around Los Angeles is pushing $5 per gallon or higher. Reducing a daily commute to a few times a week, or less, lets your team keep more money in their pockets.

Fuel isn’t the only cost.

There’s wear and tear on the car in addition to buying lunches.

Reason 5: Top Talent Likes Flexibility

A friendly and flexible work environment aids in retaining top employees. Studies made pre-Covid are evidence that it’s preferably for many to have employees work from home. A 2019 article on HR Daily Advisor.com reports that the firm Crunchbase, a company specializing in business insights, “found that by offering flexibility around family life, it was able to attract and retain top candidates.”

Reason 6: A Central Office is Still Needed When Employees Work From Home

Why is the corporate office still important?

Employees have social needs which is why arrangements that include working from home with time in the office are popular. No one truly wants to shut the door on a space where there’s stimulating collaboration.

How can you make the corporate office a desired location?

Schedule regular meetings that are interactive and filled with shared insights.

Use office designs and layouts that are welcoming, have break rooms that are well-supplied with beverages and healthy snacks, and create lounge areas.

The central office can be a destination where collaboration happens, while the home office can be a place to focus on specific tasks.

We’re Here to Help Your Employees Work From Home

The team at 2010 Office Furniture has supplied furnishings and planned office spaces for some of the most recognizable brands in greater Los Angeles, throughout Orange County, and in the Inland Empire.

2010 Office Furniture has more than 50 years of combined experience to address in-office or hybrid work arrangements, as well as home office needs.

Contact us with your project needs and questions.

Read Also: Reasons to Refresh and Improve Office Layout
Main Photo: SitOnIt Seating Reya Height Adjustable Desk
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Deskmakers, Humanscale, Maverick & SitOnIt Seating

Your Guide to the Best Training Furniture for the Office

Your Guide to the Best Training Furniture OFS Maren Chairs

You need employees to learn new products, review sales procedures, or keep certifications and licenses current. Bringing everyone together for training is the answer.  And it’s important to consider the best training furniture that will work for you and your company.

This raises questions like what type of desks, tables and chairs are best?

All office needs require planning the space to know what furnishings are best. Let’s plan and equip a training area.

Know Your Goals and Needs for Training Spaces

Let’s look at basic fundmentals like why you need a training area, and how often trainings are expected to occur. Will the set-up be permanent, and can the room be used for other purposes?

Keep this in mind: you want information to flow easily between the presenters and attendees.

Is there a set-up that’s best?

The answer is whatever helps your team learn, retain, and put to use what they’ve seen and heard.

Training in companies and larger corporations usually happens in classroom settings with desks and chairs set up in rows, just like school. Create an atmosphere that’s more relatable where employees can work in smaller groups and tables can be arranged to face each other.

Check products like the Krug Revo Training Table that’s easy to reconfigure. Have groups of five or six together in a huddle, or circular seating, to solve customer problems or get insights on new products.


Photo: Krug Revo Table

If space is tight, then consider tables that fold, have sturdy casters, and can be easily rolled to a storage area or one side of the room.

Once your purpose and needs are clearly established, then you can choose the furnishings.

How Training Furniture is Unique

Most tables and chairs used for training purposes have a distinct look and function that’s clearly different from executive desks and workstations. Check out the many options available for conference tables.

This is fine if your office schedules regular trainings for clients or employees.

But if bringing people together only happens occasionally then use tables like the Desk Makers Training Table that can double as an everyday work surface.


Photo: Deskmakers Newport Training Table

 

Photo: Krug Nuvo Conference Table

For some, conference tables can also be the best solution for employee training purposes.  The conference room by nature brings people together to facilitate sharing and exchange of information and ideas.  It’s very common that conference rooms double as training rooms for many companies.  For ideas on what may work for your company and office culture, you can explore options for conference tables.

And who says tables have to be boring or only have one primary use?

Check out the Scale 1:1 Nomad Conference Table that:

  • Is useful for trainings
  • Is useful for conferencing
  • Serves as a whiteboard
  • And offers a surface for social activities like a Ping-pong match

Photo: Scale 1:1 Nomad Conference Table

Best Ways to Arrange Training Furniture

If you have a dedicated corporate classroom, then you’re set. But if you don’t, get creative with how you set up the furnishings.

Common arrangements cited in Room Arrangements for Training Sessions in the dummies series are:

  • Single square or round tables
  • Conference tables
  • Classroom style with an aisle between tables or surfaces for long rows
  • Clusters of round or rectangular tables
  • V-shape
  • U-shape

According to the author, u-shape arrangements are good for groups of 12 to 22, while conference seating is good for about 8 to 12 people.

Table clusters can be used for 16 to 40 attendees.


Photo: Arcadia Flirt Chair

Revisit Your Goals and Available Space

Training sessions will often tackle different topics, so decide how you want your team to respond.

Will your team be focused with eyes toward the front with little or no small group interaction? If so, then tables and chairs can be arranged in rows or at angles with the right proportions that fit the room.

Do you expect break-out sessions, or will small groups stay in huddles throughout the training?

Who says training furniture has to fit a specific mold?  Sometimes the best training furniture don’t.

Certain types of lounge seating options can bring a focus that traditional tables and chairs won’t be able to do. A u-shaped solution like the Rouillard Blok Lounge Seating gives attendees a view forward while making it easy to stay together and learn or brainstorm ideas.

Keep in Mind

Choose your office furnishings to support and aid your staff, whether that’s selecting workstations, break room equipment, or training tables. Know the various ways people learn so you can bring out their best with the tables, chairs and how they’re arranged.

Your Guide to the Best Training Furniture Allermuir Kin Chair
Photo: Allermuir Kin Chairs

We’re Here to Help

Get further advice on the best training furniture as well as space planning and design for your office and home office needs. The team at 2010 Office Furniture has more than 50 years of combined experience providing the right equipment and laying out spaces for maximum productivity.

2010 Office Furniture’s clients are leading corporations, universities, and small businesses in the greater Los Angeles area, Orange County, and the Inland Empire.

Contact us with your questions and office needs.

 

Read Also: How To Set Up An Office Space
Main Photo: OFS Maren Chairs
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Allermuir, Arcadia, Deskmakers, Krug & Scale 1:1

The Best Office Spaces are Responsive to Employee Needs

Best Office Spaces ERG International Connos, Newport and Tango Collection

Office spaces that are responsive to a changing marketplace and the circumstances impacting society have a competitive advantage. Employees should be able to focus even when change swirls around them, and they can use different spaces that give them the freedom to work as effectively as possible.

Keeping your team healthy and well is a high priority due to Covid-19 and ailments from colds and the seasonal flu. Sick employees, upticks in sales that create demand for more workers, or economic downturns affect how many permanent and temporary staff occupy the floor space.

Best Office Spaces Friant My-Hite
Photo: Friant My-Hite Tables

A strategic office design and space plan charts the regular workflow through the workspaces and environmentsneeded to meet your goals. Each space contributes to employee productivity and achieving the results you want for your organization.

Assigned Spaces

The responsibilities that you have as an employee often begin at your assigned workstation or desk. Whether you’re the CEO, Vice President, a mid-level manager, or just starting out with a new company this is where you’re expected to perform at a maximum level.

Strategic space planning will allow for an effective workflow between individuals and departments.

Workspaces that are responsive to the needs of employees are considered ergonomic and make use of flexible furnishings like the Friant My-Hite Height Adjustable Workstation or the Hon Accelerate Workstation. Multiple configurations are possible to safely accommodate individual workers side by side or in small groups.

Best Office Spaces HON Accelerate
Photo: HON Accelerate Collection

Remote Spaces

When stay-at-home orders were issued during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, remote spaces became a necessity and not just a cool option. Employees who were accustomed to the layout of a corporate office were suddenly asked to work from home, competing with personal needs like children taking online classes in the living room or their bedrooms.

In today’s world, if a team member has a bad cold, but is still well enough to work, then staying at a home office or other remote space is a smart option.

Best Office Spaces Friant Collection
Photo: Friant Work From Home Collection

Looking ahead, one-third of full-time employees in the U.S. are expected to work remotely in the coming decade as noted in TechRepublic.

What makes an effective remote space?

Uncluttered space is important, one where an employee can step out of their personal life and into their professional role. An adequate surface, an ergonomic chair, and an Internet service that has satisfactory transmission rates all help to make a productive work area.

And just like in a corporate office setting, have access to natural light and move often to change the body’s position and posture.

Collaborative Spaces

Getting together to lay out challenges and find solutions is an important part of any business. It’s possible in an open office environment to create collaborative spaces that don’t interfere with the work of individuals who need to focus.

Look at what you can use to define the space:

Best Office Spaces OFS Obeya Architectural Structure
Photo: Obeya Architectural Structures

These products create flexible, or responsive, environments. You can move different pieces to fit the needs of the moment, keep the furnishings and accessories in one place or rearrange them to create a new area.

Add personality with the OFS Obeya Architectural Structure. You can add audio-visual equipment, curtains, additional panels, planters, and other accessories.

A collaborative space can also double as personal areas for employees when a group isn’t meeting.

Restful Spaces

Don’t confuse restfulness with a lack of productivity.

Whether it’s legend, fact, or a combination of both, it’s widely reported that Albert Einstein slept for about 10 hours every night and, in addition, he’d take regular naps during the day. He’d let his sub-conscious tackle problems and then come up with solutions while he dozed.

The lesson for us today is that an office that’s all work and no personal reflection is draining. We can thrive on fast-paced excitement, but many times we also need to withdraw and quiet down.

We can’t live non-stop in a fight-or-flight response, as noted in Understanding the Stress Response on HarvardHealth.com. Chronic stress “contributes to high blood pressure, promotes the formation of artery-clogging deposits, and causes brain changes that may contribute to anxiety, depression, and addiction.”

What does a restful place look like?

Define the space by creating a boundary that’s similar to collaborative spaces. If possible, allow for a flow of natural lighting and use plenty of indoor plants to bring in nature. Plants help the air remain fresh, they boost moods, ease stress and deflect sound waves for a quieter area.


Photo: Nevins Climb Seating Series

A modular arrangement like the kind available with the Nevins Climb Multi-Level Seating solution allows the furniture to be used for individuals or group meetings.

You can make a rest area look more like a living room and less like an airport lounge for the most personal touch possible.

Patios are a bonus. Install sliding glass doors to connect an indoor space with the outdoors where team members can retreat to for quiet moments. You may choose to have one space like a lounge for phone calls, and another space for reading, writing and reflective thinking.


Photo: Nevins Synk2 and Climb Seating Series

Resource Spaces

No industry is immune from some sort of change today, whether that due’s to a worldwide phenomenon like the Covid-19 virus or technology changing how business is done.

Staying up to date is essential. Dedicate a small space as a learning center. You can have books and magazines on a shelf, a computer dedicated to research, and a bulletin board where you encourage employees to post an article they’ve read that lead to an aha! moment or breakthrough.


Photo: Global Linking Panels

Defining spaces shows that you expect more than people showing up, putting in their time, clocking out and then going home. You’re investing in them and you see them as the company’s most valuable assets.

Different spaces have specific purposes. Put them together and you’re working to create community and a shared experience. The team stays engaged with their work and with each other.

Get Professional Guidance on Creating the Best Office Spaces

An effective office layout takes deliberate planning around your corporate goals.

2010 Office Furniture can help to maximize productivity and create the best office spaces possible for your company. Share your space planning and office furniture needs to get the input you need.

The team at 2010 Office has nearly a half-century of combined experience advising and supplying the most distinguished companies in Southern California.

Read Also: Office of the Future: Plan an Office that Meets Your Company Goals and Personal Needs
Main Photo: ERG International
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: ERG International, Friant, HON, OFS, Nevins, and Global Furniture Group

 

Arranging Workstations for Social Distancing in the Office

Arranging Workstations for Social Distancing in the Office

(IMPORTANT NOTICEThe recommendations on this article are NOT from health experts, and have not been medically tested nor proven as an effective cure or prevention for COVID-19 or any other diseases.)

Stay-at-home orders have lifted and social distancing, or physical distancing, is now a reality in the office.

You can return to the workplace with confidence if you plan your space well to help maximize health and productivity. Adjusting to current recommendations requires arranging workstations so employees can stay at least six feet apart.

That seems to be the accepted distance for limiting transmission when “an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air,” according to the Centers for Disease Control. The best way to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus is limiting face to face contact and maintaining a physical distance.

Arrange your office and form protective barriers based on the number of users around a desk or workstation.

Take note that in addition to physically arranging desks, special attention is given to details like using antimicrobial fabrics.

Read on for expert recommendations and refer to 2010 Office Furniture’s Inspiration Lookbook for creative and effective ideas to help with social distancing at the office.

Social Distancing for the Individual


Photo: Loftwall Split Space Divider

You’re the one in control at your desk whether you’re the receptionist or the CEO. It’s you and you alone—except when visitors step in or you have a meeting in your office. In that case, dividers may be the best helpers to reinforce proper distancing protocols.

Transparent dividers like the Loftwell Counter Shield let visitors see your winning smile when they enter the lobby. The shield is available in different sizes and can be used as a solitary panel or linked with others.

What about mid-level managers and executives?

The Loftwell Desk Shield accommodates the individual who has a private or semi-private office. You can welcome co-workers more safely to go over reports or have a chat. This shield is manufactured to allow for plenty of personal space. For those who are pressed for time, the unit quickly assembles in just about five minutes.

For programming or data entry workers who have a desk to themselves, look at the Loftwell Shelter Panel or Split Space Divider. These panels sit about one inch off the work surface to allow plenty of space for managing charging cables and electrical cords.

Social Distancing for Workstations and Dividers for Two


Photo: Loftwall Hitch Space Divider

If you have two desks that aren’t attached but are in close vicinity of one another, consider implementing use of the Loftwall Hitch Space Divider. Workstations facing each other can be separated at an appropriate distance to create the necessary six feet of separation between employees.

Use track mounted screens to help reduce the likelihood of transmitting unwanted bacteria.

Social Distancing for Workstation Clusters


Photo: Enwork Harbor Screen

If you have a space of four to six workers, it’s easy to partition the space using freestanding panels. If the workstations are attached, then use transparent or semi-transparent dividers between employees.

This helps create a sense of privacy and security to put workers at ease.

What if you need a budget-conscious solution?

There’s a durable product called Enwork Harbor Screen, a double-wall corrugated cardboard with structurally enhanced skin finish. The wall and roof material of the Enwork Harbor contains particulate that supposedly help repel infectious disease, decaying them in as little as 24 hours. The outer material may be easily cleaned with light disinfectants to sanitize them in minutes.

Other changes you’ll notice when returning to work may mean eliminating some practices such as employees sharing the same desk.

But there’s an upside to getting back to the office that boosts our overall wellness.

People need community and were deprived of such during quarantine. Feelings of isolation became common in April and May. It was widely agreed that the situation undermined morale and had a negative impact on workers.

And while it’s not work-life as we once accepted it, companies have to remain flexible to achieve goals while giving workers the protection they need.

Social Distancing for Power Meeting Realities

Photo: Enwork Skyline Screen 

You’re not going to rally people into a crowded conference room like you once did. Instead, get weekly department meetings going again with screens that help protect you individually and as a small group.

If you need to establish a conference area, use architectural walls to define an appropriate meeting space by enclosing a specific area.

Plan Your Space for Social Distancing Needs

Photo: Loftwall Counter Shield

The team at 2010 Office Furniture can give expert input on planning your office and determining what you need in order to help keep yourself and employees stay well, and create the most productive work setting possible.

The 2010 Office Furniture Inspiration Lookbook shows how you can place mobile screens, work stations, and chairs to help with wellness and productivity.

Describe your project here to get the advice you need.

Read Also: Social Distancing Tips and Adjusting to the Realities of Covid-19 in the Office
Main Photo by: Groupe Lacasse
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Groupe Lacasse, Loftwall & Enwork

(IMPORTANT NOTICEThe recommendations on this article are NOT from health experts, and have not been medically tested nor proven as an effective cure or prevention for COVID-19 or any other diseases.)

Creating Ergonomic Workstations for Office Well-Being and Productivity

Creating Ergonomic Workstations for Office Well-Being and Productivity

Creating and designing an ergonomic workplace with ergonomic workstations isn’t just a passing fad. Here’s why.

You’ve known plenty of dedicated employees who struggle with maladies such as carpal tunnel syndrome, back strain, or spend hours squinting at the computer screen. In the break room or in social settings, how many times have you heard co-workers or friends moan and say they’re getting older?

What do you think?

Do you know the impact that the right desk, chair and lighting can have on office well-being and productivity?

Find out how ergonomics came about so you get a good understanding of not just how to create ergonomic workstations but why it’s important.


Photo: HON Empower Height Adjustable Tables

What is Ergonomics

Ergonomics is the study of how employees interact with their work surroundings. The purpose is creating an environment to meet the needs of workers instead of making employees fit into the work setting.

Can you identify with this familiar situation?

A person types away hours every day on a keyboard and strains the wrist. Who hasn’t heard of carpal tunnel syndrome? The employee has to take time off to get treatments or can’t work as productively.

Keyboards, chairs and desks are now designed to support good posture instead of making workers potentially suffer more problems. The equipment is designed to help people do their tasks well and reduce the risk of injuries.

Ergonomics, also known as human factors, creates efficiencies while minimizing problems that come from doing repetitive tasks. The discipline is appropriate for both white collar workstations and factory floors.

How Ergonomics Came About

An Italian physician in the late 1600s noticed how metal mining workers suffered poor health. Respiratory illnesses were prevalent but also their bodies were affected by awkward working positions.

They forced their bodies to meet the demands of the working environment and paid a price in poor health.

Skip ahead to 1857 when a Polish biologist is credited for creating the word ergonomics based on the Greek words ergon (work) and nomos (natural laws).

Now head into the late 20th century and into Southern California where local universities like UCLA started to improve working conditions through ergonomics. Since 1987, UCLA’s Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program has “trained thousands of workers and supervisors in office ergonomics.”

A company of any size can design a work environment to adapt to the needs of its people. Let’s see how this is done by looking at something as simple as the office chair.

What Ergonomic Stations Reduce or Prevent

In the late 1800s, the growth of railroads in the U.S. made it possible for businesses to reach customers across the country. A heavy emphasis was placed on office administration to track orders.

Bookkeepers, secretaries and other support staff needed something to sit on. Wooden office chairs were a one-size fits all solution. End of story.

The chairs were sturdy and you didn’t have to worry about them breaking or falling apart. They were completely stationary. If you had to bend and take paper from a desk drawer your hips and back had to pivot since the chair was built to stay in one place.

If your hips or lower back got sore, then you’d take anti-inflammatories to temporarily reduce the pain.

Along came executive chairs that looked fancier and had wheels. Now you could glide to the nearby filing cabinet or to the phone. By the 1970s, more executive chairs were designed to support a person’s body.

Executive office chairs were more comfortable, but they still didn’t address two underlying maladies facing the modern office worker:

  • Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)
  • Repetitive Strain Injuries

This is more than just bad backs. MSDs affect nerves, ligaments, blood vessels and tendons as noted on a write-up of ergonomics on the OSHA website.

When a person does the same work constantly at a desk or chair that’s at an improper height and they have poor posture, they’re at risk for repetitive strain injuries. MSDs lead to frequent absences from work.

Employee absenteeism became widespread and serious studies evolved on how workers interacted with the workplace. That’s the focus of ergonomics.

Flip the calendar back to the early 1900s and you’ll find in-depth work appearing on ergonomics. The growth and use of aviation in the world wars that followed made the U.S. military see how they could make crew members better able to handle their duties. Engineers studied the intersection of airplane design and the limitations of the human body.

Now, back to the office.

Here’s where this extensive research has taken us—to high quality solutions that are readily available.


Photo: 9 to 5 Seating Ergonomic Chairs

You work in an office every day but can you name the basics element of a workstation?

If not, no problem. It’s listed below.

Principles of Ergonomic Workstations

What makes up a workstation?

  • Desk or Worksurface
  • Chair
  • Monitor and Keyboard or Laptop
  • Mouse and Mouse Pad
  • Lighting


Photo: Humanscale M10 Monitor Arm

Do those last two items surprise you? They shouldn’t.

Learn why as you read along.

When setting up an ergonomics workstation, pay attention to the space design of the room, a key part of the 2010 Space Planning Strategy.

Also look at the placement of accessories and the equipment layout on the desk as noted in a detailed write up on computer workstation ergonomics by The University of Western Australia. A person’s joints shouldn’t be stressed while sitting and working.

Here’s a summary of how an ergonomic workstation keeps a person in a neutral position:

Be seated so you’re eye level with the top of the computer screen.

Use a wrist pad when not typing to rest your wrists at a neutral position. Wrist pads aren’t meant to be used while typing.

Adjust armrests so elbows are close to the side of the body and are bent at a 90 degree to 100-degree angle.

Adjust the chair so feet are sitting either comfortably flat on the floor or on a footrest.

Be aware of good posture. An article and infographic from the province of Alberta, Canada notes that your ears should be above the shoulders. Those should be over the hips. This position reduces back strain. Use a lumbar pillow or roll against the lower back for extra support.

Now, let’s look at individual items.

Desks

Here’s a tip for working comfortably at a desk. Make sure the surface has everything within easy reach so you don’t have to turn and twist unnecessarily.

How does your desk adjust to your body so you can be more productive and reduce the risk of injuries? Height adjustable desks are an ergonomic solution in many offices.

Desks that support good health can be used in private offices and serve the needs of one person or they can be used in a pod of four people or more. Each person can adjust the desk to suit their preferences so they can work using the best posture possible.

If you’re wondering what to look for in the best ergonomic desks then consider this: make sure the desk changes heights quietly and is easy to reset.

How heavy will the items be on the surface? You don’t want equipment that creates instability.

Height adjustable desks fit well in compact spaces, executive suites and open plan offices.

The equipment does more than provide a place to work. Desks that adapt promote office wellness. A 12-month workplace study from the Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found that height adjustable desks are linked to increased productivity, better concentration and improved health overall.


Photo: HON Empower Height Adjustable Worksurface

 


Photo: Humanscale QuickStand 

Office aesthetics are important, and today’s desks fit traditional office spaces and the latest floor plans.


Photo: HON Empower Worksurfaces with Privacy Screens

A private office desk like the Krug Adesso Height Adjustable Desk has a finely crafted appearance while the Hon 10500 Series Height Adjustable Desk is minimal for a compact work place and collaborative open floor plans.

Desks are a good way to improve ergonomics, but now let’s look at chairs.

Chairs

Sitting for a long period of time simply isn’t a natural position for the body. That’s why it’s important to move. Stretching every 20 minutes to a half hour and take a quick walking break every 90 minutes to two hours.

Moving gives your muscles and tendons a chance to reset.

Make sitting easier and less harmful to your body by using an ergonomic chair that supports a body’s natural movement.

Think of it this way.

You’re not sitting still on a chair. You’re reaching for files, turning to look or listen to a co-worker, and, yes, sitting with good posture, we hope, while typing up your latest report.


Photo: Humanscale Freedom Chairs with Headrests

Remember that ergonomics is meant to keep the body in a neutral position, meaning little to no strains on the joints and lower back.

If you’re looking for the best ergonomic chair, then you need a chair that has a comfortable tilt to it with good lumbar support. Make sure your knees are bent at about 90 degrees. Use a footrest if your feet don’t touch the floor.

Choosing a chair that works is subjective since no two bodies are the same. Evaluate the material, the durability, and overall comfort. Make sure the chair provides support so you’re not hunched over or leaning forward excessively.

Ergonomic Computer Accessories

Posture has a tremendous impact on overall well-being. Your head weighs as much as 12-pound to 14-pound bowling ball so you don’t want to learn forward to squint at the computer screen.

The more your head tilts forward, the more you’ll strain your muscles at the base of your neck and along your shoulders.

Keep computer screens at an eye level so you don’t have to lean forward to read the screen. Accessories like a keyboard and mouse should let the arms remain horizontal. Be careful that your wrists aren’t bent or extended upright.

Office lighting also affects your work and posture.


Photo: Humanscale Keyboard Tray Systems


Photo: Humanscale Keyboard Tray Systems

Light


Photo: Humanscale Vessel Pendant Lights

Light does more than just let you see what you’re doing. Controlling the proper amount of light flowing from windows and lights is part of an ergonomic office design.

The right amount of light in an office boosts your employees’ morale. Natural light is a proven mood booster that promotes a restful night’s sleep as well.

There are three basic types of lighting:

  • General
  • Localized-general
  • Local, also called task lighting

General lighting covers a large area such as ceiling lamps that cover a wide area.

Localized-general lights include ceiling lamps that can direct light to specific areas.

Task lighting is much more focused and lets specific users adjust light levels. Desk lamps are a good example of task lighting.

Good lighting tips include arranging light fixtures so they’re not creating glare on computer screens, but providing enough focused light so users don’t have to squint.

Light “enhances the mood and desirability” of work spaces and public places as noted by the International Association of Lighting Designers.

Now consider the various elements of an ergonomically sound workplace? Can you understand what it ultimately delivers?


Photo: Humanscale Infinity Desktop Light

The Ergonomic Workstation Solution

Sitting comfortably with good posture, being able to handle repetitive tasks with little discomfort and working with proper light are all elements of an ergonomic workstation, and healthy work environment.

How we feel physically also impacts our thinking and our emotions. Investments in the right equipment are investments in people and their health.

Make this a team effort. One person in the office doesn’t have to decide how to carry out improvements and changes. Employees typically want their voices heard.

A successful ergonomics program involves employees in worksite assessments, solution development and implementation.

Here’s the end result of an office that’s planned well.

Expect a reduction in absenteeism from ailments like carpal tunnel syndrome, aching shoulders and bad backs. Employees will be more engaged and alert with proper workstations and a supportive environment.

Give your team the opportunity to function at their optimal levels.


Photo: Friant System 2 Workstations


Photo: Humanscale Ergonomic Workspaces

Get the Expertise You Need

Get input from 2010 Office Furniture on your space planning needs and laying out an office that meets the needs of employees and departments. Call or submit your questions.

Our team has more than 45 years of experience serving corporations, universities and small businesses throughout Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Read Also: Designing an Office Layout for Maximum Productivity
Main Photo by: ODS / Office Design Studio
Resources & Special Thanks to: OSHA, University of Western Australia, UCLA, MyHealth.Alberta.Ca, IALD, & Respective Product Manufacturers: ODS / Office Design Studio, 9 to 5 Seating, Friant, HON, and Humanscale

NeoCon 2019 Office Furniture Trends

TRENDS BLOOM AT NEOCON – 2019 OFFICE FURNITURE TRENDS

Tens of thousands of guests from around the globe were dazzled at NeoCon 2019 a couple of weeks ago at Chicago’s historic Merchandise Mart, as top industry names such as Herman Miller, Vitra, Steelcase and more lead the world’s biggest manufacturers in showcasing their most impressive and newest products.  As the single most important event of the year for commercial office furniture, NeoCon is the world’s leading platform for commercial design innovation and networking.  Hundred of brands were represented in areas of furniture, textiles, building materials, lighting, wall coverings, floor coverings, outdoor products, accessories and more. 

Every year, NeoCon gives us a special glimpse into the future.  From the most popular colors, fabrication and materials to progressive shapes, structures and cutting-edge innovations, here are the top trends we found at the show.

LIGHTING STEALS THE SHOW

Manufacturers definitely pulled out all the stops inside their showrooms–and it was oftentimes difficult not to look up.  Fabulous lighting displays were everywhere this year at the Merchandise Mart, attracting guests to each of the beautifully designed rooms and vignettes.  Lighting was no longer there just to complement, but instead wow the guests and lead them in.  Maybe–just maybe–it really is all about the lighting..?

NeoCon 2019 Office Furniture Trends: 1) BUZZISPACE 2) HUMANSCALE 3) STEELCASE 4) STEELCASE

PASTELS & NEONS LEAD A RAINBOW CAST

Among the dizzying display of rainbow colors, 2 types were no doubt up front and center: pastels and neons.  Pastels came in all different hues, but there was definitely a love affair with dusty pinks, magentas and salmons this year (probably trickling down from Millennial Pink’s fading popularity, and Pantone’s 2019 hot color of the year, Living Coral).  Neons were also very much in your face, especially with highlighter yellows and greens.  But one thing’s for sure, the colors didn’t stop there.  There was a bold experimentation with geometric color-blocking and mixing-and-matching of everything–from neutral palettes to bright, cheerful hues, and to darker, brooding tones such as burgundy and teal.

NeoCon 2019 Office Furniture Trends: 5) OM 6) HAWORTH 7) STEELCASE 8) GLOBAL

DECADENT TEXTURES & FABRICS

One universal theme that was clear and very much present at NeoCon 2019 was comfort.  And nothing says comfort more than fabrics and materials that draw us in and make us feel good.  From luxurious fur, velvets and felt to exquisite leather, chenille and quilted surfaces, this is the era of rich, decadent textures and fabrics. And we all want to be enveloped in them–not just at home–but at the workplace.

NeoCon 2019 Office Furniture Trends: 9) ARCADIA 10) INDIANA FURNITURE 11) STEELCASE 12) HAWORTH

REAL FURNITURE HAVE CURVES

Falling under the comfort theme, we were shocked at how much curves there were in many of the furniture design displayed.  It seemed as though there was a unified, conscious effort to make sure everything was rounded off, softened up, and cushioned.  And when you saw something that was hard-edged or sharp, its starkness was minimized with blunt edges and organic textures.  Gone are the days of sharp and sleek. For now, it’s bye-bye furniture anorexia and hello furniture with curves.

NeoCon 2019 Office Furniture Trends: 13) DAUPHIN 14) OFS BRANDS 15) JASPER GROUP 16) BOSS DESIGN

THOUGHTFUL GREENERY & BIOPHILIA

Biophilia in recent years have taken root and flourished into our offices, reaching its peak in 2017 when Pantone announced Greenery as color of the year.  Now, a more refined way of introducing the outdoors indoors was seen throughout many of the showrooms.  It was no longer trees, plants and leaves galore.  Greenery was tastefully pulled back and incorporated in more thoughtful, inventive and even quirky ways.

NeoCon 2019 Office Furniture Trends: 17) GLOBAL 18) STEELCASE 19) KRUG 20) AIS

ALL ABOUT PRIVACY

We all knew it was coming.  When office walls started to disappear around the early 2000’s to make room for collaborative open-plan layouts, our privacy went along with them.  Now, there is a much stronger need and demand for private, secluded spaces for quiet, concentrated work.  We were excited to see many innovative solutions that were offered at this year’s show.

NeoCon 2019 Office Furniture Trends: 21) NOOK 22) STEELCASE 23) SILEN SPACE 24) JASPER GROUP

RESIMERCIAL COMFORT TO RESORT BLISS

Resimercial design, which was huge in last year’s show,  helped bring the comforts of home to the office.  It provided professionals comfortable, informal workspaces where they can be productive, collaborative, and dynamic.  This year (as though feeling at home wasn’t enough) we saw a lot of rich, natural, soothing wood finishes, parachute chord details, light and airy curtains (serving as room dividers) and wicker weave applications–all reminiscent of being at a 5 star island resort.  It was as if resimercial design is now giving way to hospitality design.

NeoCon 2019 Office Furniture Trends: 25) OFS BRANDS 26) HERMAN MILLER 27) HERMAN MILLER 28) HAWORTH

Read Top 5 Commercial Office Furniture Trends – 2018 NeoCon
Main Photo by: Global
Resources & Special Thanks to: Respective Product Manufacturers
Photos by: 2010 Office Furniture